News 11.18.08

No Compensation for Six Prisoners Cleared in Nebraska

Three people freed recently in Nebraska after serving 20 years in prison for a murder they didn’t commit will take on the challenge of building a new life without financial support or services from the state.

Thomas Winslow, Joseph White and JoAnn Taylor were cleared in recent weeks in Nebraska after DNA testing pointed to another man in the 1985 murder for which they were convicted. Three other co-defendants were released from prison in 1994 after serving their complete sentences.(The Innocence Project is currently reviewing the cases of all six defendants to determine whether they can be included in our database of DNA exonerations nationwide.)

Nebraska is one of

25 states

without an exoneree compensation law, so there are no state services available to the exonerated.

Innocence Project spokesman Eric Ferrero said compensation for wrongful convictions is needed because re-entering society after serving prison time is difficult, even with an exoneration.

"Some people don't have family support or any network of supports when they get out," he said. "They often get out with no money, no job experience — other than prison jobs — and they often lack the skills to get reintegrated into society and rebuild their lives."


Read the full story here

. (Associated Press, 11/18/08)

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